October 10, 2023 By Caitlin Rose

​​SmartBiz is proud to celebrate National Women’s Small Business Month this October along with organizations like the Small Business Administration (SBA), National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) and the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO).

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History of women-owned businesses

According to the SBA, in 1972, there were only a little more than 400,000 women-owned businesses in the U.S. And up until 1988, women needed a male relative to cosign if they wanted to apply for a business loan. The Women’s Business Ownership Act (passed in 1988) eliminated such laws, created support programs, and increased SBA’s access to capital to provide financial assistance to organizations geared toward women-owned small businesses. That is why, each October, we celebrate this legislation and celebrate the hard work of women entrepreneurs across the country through National Women’s Small Business Month. 

Fast facts about women-owned businesses

Women-owned businesses contribute substantially to entrepreneurship and the economy in the U.S. Consider these facts from the 2022 NWBC Annual Report*:

  • Currently there are more than 13 million women-owned businesses in the U.S. 
  • By 2019, women-owned businesses represented 42% of all U.S. businesses, generating $1.9 trillion in revenue.
  • Between 2014 and 2019, the number of women-owned businesses grew 3.9%, while the number owned by minority women grew by 7%.
  • Women-owned firms (51% or more) employed 10.8 million workers in 2019 and grew their workforce by 28%, more than double that of men-owned firms (10.8%) between 2012 and 2019.
  • One in five firms with revenue of $1 million or more is woman-owned.

*2019 is the latest data available

How to celebrate National Women’s Small Business Month

There are many ways you can celebrate National Women’s Small Business Month. Consider these ideas:

  • Spread the word about National Women’s Small Business Month and why it’s important. Share the facts and statistics above, as well as positive success stories from your own community. 
  • Visit woman-owned small businesses in your community and online this month. By purchasing from these businesses, you’re helping to strengthen the economy and support a vital demographic. 
  • Follow the hashtag #NWSBM on Twitter® and Instagram® to discover who is sharing valuable information about this month and how you can contribute.

If you are a woman-owned small business, there are resources to help you grow, and ways to share your success, including:

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Financing women-owned small businesses

Despite these strides and the incredible contributions that women-owned businesses make to the U.S. economy, women business owners may still face greater obstacles in obtaining financing for their businesses than similarly suited men do. 

According to NABOW, when asked about the type of financing used, 63% of members responded that they use credit cards, with only 13% using a commercial bank loan and 11% using a personal bank loan. The same report also found that 47% of all African American women business owners reported that they have encountered obstacles or difficulties when trying to obtain business financing. 

The 2022 NWBC Annual Report had similar findings. In terms of access to capital, 62.3% of women have sought financing to meet operating expenses vs. 54.6% for men. More men (32.6%) have searched for financing to expand business, pursue new opportunities, or acquire business assets compared to 26.3% of women-owned businesses. 

SmartBiz supports women-owned small businesses

SmartBiz® is committed to helping successful female entrepreneurs secure capital to grow and succeed. Smart, savvy and poised for professional growth, here is a story about one recent SmartBiz customer who is busy expanding.

Vanessa Carter, founder and CEO of One View Communications®, recently celebrated 10 years of business success. One View, located in northeast Ohio, offers simple voice and data communications solutions for small to medium-sized businesses. 

Carter slowly built the business and continued to grow despite minimal advertising, especially with positive word-of-mouth reviews. The business weathered the pandemic well and continued operating and receiving positive customer reviews. But she was ready to see what else they could do. 

Carter had worked with SmartBiz in the past, finding the funds extremely helpful to meet her business goals. She determined that additional funds in 2022 could move her forward even further. Working with her dedicated Relationship Manager, she secured a $275,000 SBA loan from a bank in our network. She plans to use the SBA loan funds for vendor costs, marketing, cash flow, and hiring. 

“It was a great experience and it also gave me an opportunity to think about my business from a lender’s perspective, which was very helpful in evaluating our business,” said Carter. “I would recommend SmartBiz to anyone seeking SBA or other funding for their business.”

Her advice for other small business owners? Make an effort to find a manageable work/life balance. “Business owners need to refresh, calm themselves, and welcome the weekends. Whatever it is, it can wait.”

No matter which financing option you are looking for, SmartBiz is proud to be the leading financing platform connecting small businesses with SBA, bank term loans, line of credit and other flexible financing options. Visit SmartBiz today to see if you pre-qualify in just five minutes.

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